Top positive review
Still going strong here, though the action is ebbing a bit
Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2018
Cameron O'Connell definitely had a stronger voice for Quinn Mackenna in her fifth outing here, though it was not without a few withdrawals from other aspects of the story engagement.
On one hand, Quinn herself gets a lot more introspective with this book. Her powers as she knew them before are gone, instead of being a walking magic-nullifier she's instead now sporting a host of powers and abilities from her awakened Fae lineage that she has little to no grasp on, right in the middle of yet another tumultuous incident. This time however it is much more localized, involving only a set few friends and allies rather than yet another doomsday scenario, and the smaller focus and differed pacing allow this introspection to work in a few good steps of character development for Quinn in quick order.
The offset to this however is that the action set-pieces are much more.... well a good word for them is strained. While Quinn has always been fond of various firepower to do her job for her, the balance between gunplay and using her new powers is noticeably uneven, perhaps in an effort to show she's still struggling to get full control and understanding of what she can do. By itself this wouldn't be a huge issue, hardly even a nitpick, but the extent of how it flip-flops in her fighting and thus changes the pacing of how the rest of the fighting goes on around her makes it all read very roughly. Whereas her previous fights flowed very well and kept up a swift but not overly hurried pace, the fights here feel very disjointed and cobbled together. This is rather obvious as some of the spots of dialogue/character interaction during some of the fights feel like they were cut out completely away from the rest of the fighting going on all around them.
Overall it is still a strong contender amongst the books so far, but it does indeed feel like the first notable hitch in the road for Quinn Mackenna's story. The character development and engagement with a lot of the other characters does help it along though and still inspires the reader to want to see what comes next, as usual.